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Speech Crimes: Incitement to Religious, Racial and Homophobic Hatred

Comment 5th July 2010

In the UK there already exist laws to protect citizens from violence, harrassment, aggression or threat of aggression. No person has the right to make threats to any other or to do harm to them or their property. People who break these laws should be dealt with most severely.

That said, the crimes which are: Incitement to Religious, Racial or Homophobic Hatred are superfluous. It is already illegal to act in a way which threatens person or property or causes any damage to either.

Rather, it has become a crime to SAY something which could be construed as offensive. In itself, this is a nonsense. Offense is subjective – and it is impossible to legislate against a subjective reaction.

Furthermore, and I think more importantly, the crimes noted above are simply ways of preventing people from expressing opinions which may be considered undesirable. A person can be arrested for saying that someone should 'get back to their own country' or that 'church money should not  be used to support homosexual charities'. Whether or not you agree with these opinions, a citizen certainly has the right to express them.

It is a slippery slope. New Labour allowed political correctness to seep into every quarter of our lives, even to the extent where we could not exercise our ancient rights to freedom of speech. It is so crucial, and so necessary, that speech, or writing, of any sort (provided, of course, that it makes no direct threats to person or property) should be uninhibited.

Anything else just isn't British!

Why does this matter?

My idea is important because it upholds our ancient rights to freedom of speech without fear of reprisal from the state or any other quarter.

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